Talk by Vivienne Ming (bio given below) to the meetup of the Bay Area women in machine learning and data science. Organizers of the meetup are Yvonne Fonken & Erin LeDell. Talk was held at the Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience at UC Berkeley.
Abstract: The elusive quest to identify and place skilled professionals has become an obsession in the talent wars of the tech industry (not to mention in schools from K though Postdoc). Respected companies such as Google have applied enormous resources to predicting the best developers and managers, and yet they also periodically acknowledge the shortcomings of their existing methodology (e.g., no more brainteasers). We will discuss the concept of continuous passive formative assessment, applied to both learners and professionals, from kindergärtners to (future) CEOs. Building cognitive models using unstructured data and ubiquitous sensors allows the assessment not only of concept mastery, but meta-learning development as well (e.g., "Grit" and "Social-Emotional Intelligence"). Such models can then be used to predict which content will be an effective learning experience for a given learner. In massive courses, from large college lectures to MOOCs, the models can identify ad hoc cohorts for collaborative learning. Further, using technologies like Google Glass or smart phones, we can build models to train high-performing children with autism to read facial expression or predict manic/depressive phases in bipolar sufferers.
About our speaker: Dr. Vivienne Ming, named one of 10 Women to Watch in Tech by Inc. Magazine, is a theoretical neuroscientist, technologist and entrepreneur. She is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Socos, a cutting-edge EdTech company which applies cognitive modeling to align education with life outcomes. Previously, Dr. Ming was Chief Scientist at Gild, an innovative startup that builds better companies by unleashing human potential in their workforce using machine learning. She is a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley's Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience pursuing her research in cognitive prosthetics. In her free time, Dr. Ming also explores augmented cognition using technology like Google Glass and has been developing predictive models of diabetes and bipolar disorder. She sits on the boards of StartOut and Our Family Coalition, and speaks on issues of LGBT inclusion and gender in technology, recently receiving the Start Farm Good Neighbor Award from Equality California. She lives in Berkeley with her wife and their two children. Her work and research has received extensive media attention including the New York Times, NPR, Nature, O Magazine, Forbes, and The Atlantic.